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Excellent update of a timeless classic - *Required Reading*, 10. November 1997
Anyone who aspires to be a transcendent programmer must own (and use) Knuth. I've used my 20 year old TAOCP vol. 1 so many times over the years that it lays flat at any page.
The updated volume 1 is more of the same - a classic revisited, revamped, restored. It is odd to handle something so familiar, yet so crisp.
Those who dislike MIX will be unimpressed - to them, I say that you don't learn by doing the same vanilla thing time and again, but rather by wrestling with unfamiliar concepts and architectures. Many times my fellow programmers will find themselves roadblocked in an unfamiliar situation, while I often can see the unobvious solution - I attribute this ability to a wide experience with unconventional solutions, including extensive study of Knuth's TAOCP.
If you're serious about your programming abilities, you *must* own (and study) this book! Frankly, if computer science were taught as an apprenticeship, this would be the journeyman's manual. I've required the many programmers I've trained over the years to own and study TAOCP, and they've all come to appreciate it's layered approach to problems - you can read Knuth at many levels, from algorithm reference to meta-analysis of an entire class of problems.
If there is a Koran, Bible, or Tao of Computer Science, this is it. The only thing close is Aho's "Dragon Book," and it's specific to compilers.